Coronavirus in Romania: Country closes borders for foreign citizens, malls close, people’s movement and religious service restricted
Romania will close its borders for foreign citizens (with several exceptions) to limit the spreading of the new coronavirus (Covid-19). The authorities have also decided to close the malls and shopping centers in the country, starting Sunday evening, March 22, at 22:00. Supermarkets, hypermarkets, small shops, and drug stores will remain open.
People’s movement outside their homes will be restricted between 22:00 and 6:00, with only a few exceptions. The authorities also recommend people to also limit their movement outside their homes during the day. Moreover, those who leave their homes should respect the safety measures and recommendations from the authorities for limiting the spreading of the coronavirus and should not travel in groups larger than three people that do not belong to the same household.
“Stay indoors! Limit your meeting and respect the rules,” said the minister of interior Marcel Vela at the end of a 20-minute press briefing in which he presented the new restrictions, adopted through a military ordinance, the second one after president Klaus Iohannis decreed the state of emergency in Romania on Monday, March 16.
The military ordinance number 2 of March 21 enforces the following measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which shall be applied from March 22, 2020, at 22:00 (Romania time):
Art. 1 - The activity of dental medicine offices is temporarily suspended, except for emergency interventions.
Art. 2 - Retail activities are temporarily suspended in the commercial centers where several economic operators operate (malls), except for the sale of food, veterinary or pharmaceutical products and cleaning services.
Art. 3 - The movement of persons outside the home/household is carried out only in compliance with the general measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and avoiding the formation of any group of persons larger than three people who do not live together.
Art. 4 - Between 06.00 and 22.00, it is recommended that the movement of persons outside the home/household should be carried out only for the following reasons:
a) travel in professional interest, including moving between home/household and the workplace, when the professional activity is essential and cannot be postponed or performed remotely;
b) travel for the provision of goods that cover the basic needs of the persons and their pets, as well as goods necessary for the professional activity;
c) travel for healthcare that cannot be postponed or performed remotely;
d) displacement for justified reasons, such as caring/accompanying the child, the assistance of elderly, sick or disabled persons or death of a family member;
e) short trips, near the home/household, related to the individual physical activity of the people and the needs of their pets.
Art. 5 - During the hours 22.00 - 06.00, the movement of persons outside the home/household is allowed only for the reasons provided in art. 4.
Art. 6 - Foreign citizens are forbidden to enter Romania's territory unless they transit Romania through transit corridors organized through agreements with the neighboring states. (Exactly how Romanian citizens are now traveling through Hungary). By exception, the entry of foreign citizens belonging to the following categories is allowed on the territory of Romania:
a) are family members of Romanian citizens;
b) are family members of citizens of other EU Member States, of the European Economic Area, or of the Swiss Confederation, residing in Romania;
c) are persons who hold a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to the residence permit issued by the Romanian authorities, or an equivalent document issued by the authorities of other states, according to the law of the European Union;
d) are persons traveling in professional interest, evidenced by visa, residence permit, or other equivalent documents;
e) is diplomatic or consular personnel, personnel of international organizations, military personnel or personnel who can provide humanitarian aid;
f) are passengers in transit, including those repatriated as a result of granting consular protection;
g) are passengers traveling on imperative grounds (medical or family);
h) are persons who need international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.
In addition to these measures, the Romanian authorities have also decided that the people under self-isolation at home who leave their homes without the approval of the authorities are placed under quarantine. Moreover, those who leave the quarantine facilities without authorization will have their quarantine extended by another 14 days. In addition to these measures, the people who leave self-isolation or quarantine will also be fined and face criminal prosecution.
The local administration authorities in Romania will have to identify and help the elderly people over 65 who don't have any support and provide them with support so as to minimize their movements outside their homes.
The ordinance also restricts religious service, to which public access is restricted, and which will only be broadcasted via television or the internet. Private events at church, such as baptisms, marriages and funerals will take place in the presence of maximum 8 people.
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